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Joe Flacco believes Mike Wallace is going to be 'a really big hit' for Ravens

"We all know he can run," said Joe Flacco, left, of Mike Wallace, right. "But just the way he runs his routes and how good is he at the top of it and coming back to you, and how sure his hands have been. I don't know if I've seen him drop a pass." Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Joe Flacco's deep pass was tipped by cornerback Jimmy Smith and still fell into the hands of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace for a touchdown.

It was one highlight in a training camp filled with them between Flacco and Wallace. Over the course of three weeks, Flacco has connected with Wallace over the middle for first downs and in the red zone for scores.

So, why have Flacco and Wallace hit it off so quickly? It's all about location.

Wallace just happens to be right next to Flacco in the locker room.

"Who do I need to pay for doing that for me?" Wallace said with a smile.

Baltimore signed Wallace in free agency because his speed complemented Flacco's strong arm. But he has been more than a "one trick pony," a nickname playfully given to him by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Wallace has caught passes on fade routes in the end zone. He has pulled in tough catches on back-shoulder throws. He has been a frequent target on underneath routes.

"Mike is awesome," Flacco said. "I think he is going to be a really big hit for us."

The Ravens might need to rely on Wallace more than expected. Leading receiver Steve Smith Sr. (Achilles) and 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman are both on the physically unable to perform list, and there are only 25 days left until the season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

With Smith and Perriman sidelined, Flacco has thrown a lot of passes in Wallace's direction and he hasn't disappointed. Where Wallace has made the most improvement with the Ravens is his reliability.

Last season, Wallace's 5.6 percent drop rate with the Vikings was the 17th highest among NFL wide receivers. He finished with more drops (four) than touchdown catches (two).

So far, that hasn't been the case since he joined Flacco and the Ravens.

"We all know he can run," Flacco said. "But just the way he runs his routes and how good is he at the top of it and coming back to you, and how sure his hands have been. I don't know if I've seen him drop a pass."

Perhaps a change in quarterback has led to a change in fortune for Wallace. He recorded career lows in receptions (39) and receiving yards (473) last season in Minnesota and was released by the Vikings this offseason.

Wallace said one motivating factor in signing a two-year, $11.5 million deal with Baltimore in free agency was Flacco. He knew Flacco had a strong arm and led the Ravens to a Super Bowl in 2012. What he didn't know was that you can never let your guard down.

"The passes he's been throwing in practice, guys are barely getting their heads around and you already get hit with the ball," Wallace said. "It just lets you know you have to get your head around really fast because it's like windows that most quarterbacks wouldn't try to fit it in. And Joe is throwing it and it's getting there."

Wallace has gained added appreciation for Flacco after 15 training camp practices.

"Back from afar, I knew he was good," Wallace said. "But he's a guy you have to be on the team with to know how exactly good he is."